Lithuania

Historical Background

Lithuanian nationals welcomed the German occupiers, seeing them as liberators from Soviet occupation. In the days prior to the German occupation of Lithuania local paramilitary groups initiated pogroms against the Jews. The systematic murder of the Jews led by the Germans began on July 2, 1941, and most of Lithuania’s Jews had been murdered by December 1941. The remaining Jews were in ghettos. A significant part of the murders was carried out by Lithuanian auxiliary forces. Even in 1943, when Lithuanian enthusiasm for collaboration with Germany subsided, hostility towards Jews and denunciation persisted.

141,000 out of Lithuania’s 168,000 Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.